Preparative separation of monoclonal antibody aggregates by cation-exchange laterally-fed membrane chromatography
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Cation exchange (CEX) chromatography is widely used for large-scale separation of monoclonal antibody (mAb) aggregates. The aggregates bind more strongly to CEX media and hence elute after the monomeric mAb in a salt gradient. However, monomer-aggregate resolution that is typically obtained is poor, which results in low product recovery. In the current study we address this challenge through the use of cation-exchange laterally-fed membrane chromatography (LFMC). Three different LFMC devices, each containing a bed of strong cation-exchange (S) membranes were used for preparative-scale removal of mAb aggregates. Trastuzumab (IgG1) biosimilar derived from human embryonic kidney 293 (293) cells was used as the primary model mAb in our study. The other mAbs investigated were Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell line derived Alemtuzumab (Campath-1H) and a heavy chain chimeric mAb EG2-hFc. In each of these case-studies, aggregates were well-resolved from the respective monomer. The separated and collected monomer and aggregate fractions were analyzed using techniques such as hydrophobic interaction membrane chromatography (HIMC), native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (or PAGE), and size-exclusion high-performance liquid chromatography (SE-HPLC). The high efficiency of separation obtained in each case was due to a combination of the small membrane pore size (3-5μm), and the use of LFMC technology, which has been shown to be suitable for high-resolution, multi-component protein separations. Also, the LFMC based separation processes reported in this study were more than an order of magnitude faster than equivalent resin-based, cation exchange chromatography.
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